British Museum

Great Russell Street
London
WC1B 3DG

Founded in 1753 in response to the public bequest by Sir Hans Sloane of his collection of objects, herbarium and library. The original museum collection comprised that of Sloane together with the Cottonian and Harleian manuscript collections. George II donated the "Old Royal Library" in 1757, adding the privilege of copyright receipt.

The original stated purpose of the museum was "to promote universal understanding through the arts, natural history and science in a public museum". The museum opened to the public in 1759 in Montagu House, on the current site.

The collection expanded rapidly with the acquisition of antiquities from Egypt, Greece and Rome, culminating with the purchase of the Parthenon marbles in 1816. George IV donated George III's library in 1823, triggering a reconstruction of the museum buildings. The current museum was designed by Sir Robert Smirke, the round reading room by Sydney Smirke. The new buildings allowed freer access to the collections and the museum's public grew enormously.

In 1880 the natural history collections were moved to South Kensington to become the Natural History Museum. This coincided with further development at the museum site. Pressure on space was largely resolved in 1998 with the move of the British Library to purpose-built accommodation at St. Pancras. Sir Norman Foster then oversaw a redevelopment of the great court and round reading room, completed in 2000.

The Museum is governed by a board of Trustees, responsible to Parliament. The collections belong to the nation and admission is free.

Source: Official history, www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk/visit/history.html
 
Works of Art: 21
Books: 14
Archives: 8
Works by

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Cast of palmette-and-lotus frieze of...
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Cast of Figure A (Ilissos?)...   
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Cast of Figure D (Dionysos?)...   
Cast of Figure D (Dionysos?)...
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Cast of relief of youth,...
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Cast of lunging Lapith and...
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Apollo Giustiniani   
Apollo Giustiniani
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Cast of Aphrodite and Dione...   
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Cast of Townley vase decorated...
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Slade Collection   Catalogue of the collection of glass formed by Felix Slade / with notes on the history of glass making by Alexander Nesbitt, and an appendix containing a description of other works of art presented or bequeathed by Mr. Slade to the nation. - [London] : 1871.   
12/3651   
British Museum   The Lindisfarne Gospels : Three plates in colour and thirty-six in monochrome from Cotton MS. Nero D. IV in the British Museum with pages from two related manuscripts / With introduction by Eric George Millar, F.S.A. Assistant in the Department of Manuscripts, British Museum. - [London] 1923   
07/3786   
British Museum   Designs From Greek Vases In The British Museum Edited By A.S. Murray Keeper of Greek and Roman Antiquities - London: 1894   
07/3784   
British Museum   White Athenian Vases In The British Museum By A.S. Murray, Ll.D., F.S.A. Keeper of Greek and Roman Antiquities And A.H. Smith, M.A., F.S.A. Assistant in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities - London: 1896   
07/3783   
British Museum   British Museum - The Sculptures Of The Parthenon With An Introduction And Commentary By A.H. Smith, M.A., Keeper Of The Department Of Greek And Roman Antiquities In The British Museum - London: 1910.   
07/3508   
Collection Of Etruscan, Greek, And Roman Antiquities From The Cabinet Of The Honble. Wm. Hamilton His Britannick Maiesty's Envoy Extraordinary At The Court Of Naples.   - Naples. [1766 (-1767)]   
06/3529   
Bonomi, Joseph   Catalogue Of The Collection Of Egyptian Antiquities Belonging To The Late Robert Hay, Esq., Of Linplum. Drawn up under the Superintendence of Joseph Bonomi, Curator of Sir John Soane's Museum. - London 1869.   
06/2659   
Lawrence, Richard   Elgin Marbles, From The Parthenon At Athens: Exemplified By Fifty Etchings, Selected From The Most Beautiful And Least Mutilated Specimens In That Collection; And Accompanied With Explanatory And Critical Remarks On The Style, Composition, And Peculiar Excellence Of Those Transcendent Relics Of Grecian Sculpture. By Richard Lawrence. - London: 1818.   
06/752   
Lewis, Frederick Christian, Snr.   Imitations of Claude Lorraine, By F.C. Lewis, Engraved From The Drawings In The British Museum. Dedicated, By Permission, To His Majesty. - London 1837.   
05/889   
British Museum. Department of Printed Books   Librorum Impressorum Qui In Museo Britannico, Adservantur Catalogus. Vol. I. (II.) - Londini. [1787]   
04/3630   
Layard, Austen Henry, author, draughtsman   The Monuments Of Nineveh. From Drawings Made On The Spot By Austen Henry Layard, Esq., D.C.L. Illustrated In One Hundred Plates. - London: 1849. (-1853.)   
05/52   
British Museum. Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities   A Description Of The Collection Of Ancient Terracottas In The British Museum : With Engravings - London : 1810.   
04/3329   
Rymsdyk, Jan van   Museum Britannicum, Being An Exhibition Of A Great Variety Of Antiquities And Natural Curiosities, Belonging To That Noble And Magnificent Cabinet, The British Museum. Illustrated With Curious Prints Engraved after the Original Designs, from Nature, and other Objects; And With Distinct Explanations Of Each Figure, By John and Andrew Van Rymsdyk, Pictors. ... - London: 1778.   
03/2865   
Desenfans, Noel Joseph   A Plan, Preceded By A Short Review Of The Fine Arts, To Preserve Among Us, And Transmit To Posterity, The Portraits Of The Most Distinguished Characters Of England, Scotland, And Ireland, Since His Majesty's Accession To The Throne. Also, To give Encouragement to British Artists, and to enrich and adorn London with some Galleries of Pictures, Statues, Antiques, Medals, and other valuable Curiosities, Without any Expence to Government. By Noel Desenfans, Esq. - London: 1799.   
03/2245   
RAA/PC/13/21    Draft letter addressed to the Governors of the British Institution    [Dec 1866]    Item   
RI/2/19    A. Higgins, to W.B. Richmond    19 Nov 1882    Item   
LAW/5/154    Farnborough. Whitehall Gardens, to Sir Thomas    4 Jul [c.1829]    Item   
LAW/4/211    Charles Long, A.P. Office, to [Thomas Lawrence]    7 Apr [1824]    Item   
LAW/4/291    J. Mackintosh, Cadogan Place, to Sir Thomas    9 Dec 1824    Item   
LAW/4/324    Saml. Woodburn, Paris, to Sir Thomas Lawrence, P.R.A., Russell Square, London    3 May 1825    Item   
GRI/3/239    G.C. Lewis, Downing Street , to George Richmond    6 Dec 1856    Item   
236/13/15    Robert Huskisson, 39 Penton Place, Pentonville, to T. Miller    24 Mar [c.1849]    Item